Medical marijuana law set to expire April 28

Marijuana industry braces for April 28 and if the Trump administration renews medical marijuana programs.

A law which has been protecting medical marijuana dispensaries around the country will expire on April 28. 

The Rohrabacher-Farr amendment has been prohibiting the U.S. Justice Department from interfering with state medical cannabis laws but has to be reauthorized every year. 

"It's been great the last few years to just see it building and building, but with the new administration you never know," said David Sodemann, a marketing manager for The Giving Tree Wellness Center in Phoenix. 

The amendment was enacted by Congress in 2014 after six failed attempts and in August, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the amendment's language bars the federal government from taking action against anyone involved in activity surrounding medical marijuana.

For many patients, losing access to the drug could be life-altering.

Miranda Encinas was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder as an 18-year-old. After trying doctor-prescribed medications and being unhappy with the results, she tried cannabis. 

"I was able to have my life back with cannabis. It was a complete 180," said Encinas. 

According to a study done by the University of Chicago, support for marijuana legislation has never been higher with, 57 percent of Americans in support.

The Trump administration's stance is on the issue is unclear but U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is clearly against medical marijuana. 

"I firmly believe that this bill will extend and we will keep doing business as usual," said Sodemann. 


© 2017 KPNX-TV


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